My Ten Favorite Free Web Tools

This list is slanted towards SEO tools so I will be doing follow-on post that digs into some of my favorite Social Media tools. I also tried to keep this as a toolset that someone with average web skills could use and skipped some of the geekier tools that I use less frequently.

1.       Mozilla Firefox

I was a Microsoft partner for a decade and it took months to get me to switch to Firefox, but now it’s by far my favorite browser.

2.       SEO for Firefox

If you are interested in understanding how your website ranks and why all from one interface the SEO for Firefox tool is one of the best free tools available.

5.       Roboform

Managing passwords is one of the hardest things for those of us who work online, especially if we are managing client websites and social media sites. Roboform helps me manage the hundreds of logins/passwords that I have to manage. You can get a free 10 site version here

6.       Quantcast

Quantcast.com has detailed traffic statistics and estimates for websites so you can get a feel for how big a site is when looking for sites to place ads on. Compete.com is a similar site with free and paid versions .

7.       Google Reader

a.      There are a lot of readers out there, but Google Reader has the best set of tools for segmenting and sharing blog and other RSS feeds.

8.       iGoogle

a.       With iGoogle  can get a quick glance at what is important to me. The modules I use are

i.      Google reader

ii.      Google docs

iii.      Digg

iv.      SEOBook competitive research tool

v.      What’s popular

vi.      Duct Tape Marketing

vii.      Seth Godin

9.       Google Analytics

a.       If your website designer doesn’t share some sort of analytics from your website with you they are an amateur or they don’t want you to know.

b.      I find GA is better than 90% of the paid tools that I’ve tried, yes there are tools that are better and if you control your own server and have a big budget you can purchase them, but none of the low end tools come close to the results you get form Google’s free tool.

10.   Google Keyword tool

There are two ways I use the Google external keyword tool:

a.    Find out if a market is getting any search traffic

Just because a market doesn’t get search traffic doesn’t mean that there isn’t a potential business there, but it does mean that you will need to find another way to get to your market – that will affect tour strategy and your marketing mix

b. To find out what Google thinks a website is about

When we type in a website address we can see what keywords come up. With our own website we find quite often that Google has a very different idea of our site than we have. It can also help when setting up a website you can

My Top Ten Social Media Marketing Mistakes

My Top ten social media marketing mistakes

Mistakes I made following other Guru’s advice BEFORE I found Social Traffic

Facebook Mistakes

1.    Friend everyone that they find on their favorite gurus friends list or group without so much as explaining why they are friending them. I actually said where I saw them on most of the friend requests.

2.    Accept friend requests from people like the ones above –if someone isn’t interested enough in you to tell you where they met you then the odds are you will never have a real conversation. Most of my real interactions on Facebook are with people I’ve at least talked to on Skype.

3.    Slap up a group and start inviting everyone in my friends list. – worked a little, but I didn’t get any get real traction because I didn’t give people a good reason to be engaged in my group.

4.    Send out info about affiliate products without first asking my audience what they were interested in.

5.    I didn’t engage my audience enough – with my group of 500+ would get  one or two comments if I was lucky when I posted something on the wall

Twitter Mistakes

6.    Went down the wall of my favorite Guru and added everyone following them.

7.    Set up a DM that was something like the following – “Thanks for following me, I have tons of free information at Online4Offline.com” – I received a couple of hundred newsletter sign ups from a thousand or so friend requests.  Before someone reads that and thinks it’s a good idea that was a year ago before everyone and their dog was doing spammy DMs.

8.    Signed up for a friendadder service that FLOODED my DM box with spam. I left that quickly and stopped auto-following everyone back.

Digg and other social bookmarking site mistakes

9.    Bookmarked my own sites across multiple accounts. Occasionally I would slip in another link or two.

10.    Digg banned three of my accounts including my main which I wasn’t using for the spammy stuff. This happened when using strategies and software recommended by a well known Digg guru.
Since finding Simon Ford and Social Traffic I’ve learned to focus on creating and sharing good content that other people will read, share and comment on. Tell me some of the things you were told to do when you got started with social media: